Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions including Man Utd v Wolves & Arsenal v Everton

Michael Owen has made his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League action (Picture: Metro.co.uk)Brand Ambassador Michael Owen believes it will be a good weekend for the “big six” in the Premier League this weekend as he again shared his thoughts on all the weekend action exclusively with BetVictor.

Fulham vs Watford

Watford’s 100% start to the new season was ended by Man Utd last weekend (Picture: Getty)The hosts have conceded at least twice in all five Premier League games so far this season, but I feel they will pick up a point against a Watford side whose second half comeback against Manchester United on Sunday could, on another day, have brought them an unlikely point. Watford have lost their last eight Premier Leagues games in the capital, but they showed their mettle against United last weekend and no side has scored more goals (8) in the second half so far this term than the Hornets.

Michael’s Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Watford

Manchester United vs Wolves

Paul Pogba was back to his best last week (Picture: Getty)United have won their last six league games against Wolves at Old Trafford and I feel they will maintain that good record at the weekend although the Molineux outfit have quickly come to terms with the Premier League and should, arguably, be unbeaten so far this season. Jose Mourinho has never lost back-to-back home league games in his managerial career but, after three successive away wins, I expect his side to exorcise the demons of that defeat at the hands of Spurs last month. Wolves have taken a point against champions City and kept clean sheets in their own back-to-back wins in their last couple of games. This promises to be the game of the weekend and one I feel United will edge.

Michael’s Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Wolves

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle

Wilfried Zaha scored Crystal Palace’s winning goal last weekend (Picture: Getty)Since the start of the 2016-17 season fouls on Wilfried Zaha have resulted in 41 yellow cards – more than any other player in the Premier League – and you could see and feel his frustration coming through the television when he spoke after last weekend’s Huddersfield game. The Ivorian has scored three of the Eagles’ four Premier League goals so far this term and Roy Hodgson needs goals from other avenues. The stats suggest if you stop Zaha you stop Palace. The former Manchester United wide-man cum striker missed the home game with Southampton this season – the result a 2-0 loss. Newcastle have played four of the “big six” clubs already this season and lost each game narrowly 2-1. I feel the time to assess United and their season-long prospects and expectations will not be for at least another month and I feel they can take a hard-earned point at Selhurst Park in a low-scoring contest.

Michael’s Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle

Leicester vs Huddersfield

You can’t afford to leave early if you are a Leicester supporter with half of their eight Premier League goals scored so far this season in the 88th minute or later. That said I think they will have too much for the Terriers at the King Power Stadium given Town have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games and have not scored more than once in that time.

Michael’s Prediction: Leicester 2-0 Huddersfield

Cardiff vs Man City

Man City suffered a shock midweek defeat against Lyon (Picture: Getty)Cardiff were in the game for 80 minutes against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend, but things are unlikely to get any easier for the Bluebirds when the champions come to town on Saturday. Cardiff are without a win in their last nine Premier League games and I expect Pep Guardiola’s side to heap further misery on Neil Warnock’s side with the champions likely to be wounded after their shock home Champions League defeat to Lyon midweek.

Michael’s Prediction: Cardiff 0-3 Man City

Liverpool vs Southampton

Mohamed Salah could be back in the goals this weekend (Picture: Getty)It was a pleasure to be at Anfield midweek where Liverpool were good value for their 3-2 win over PSG in the Champions League. The Reds are unbeaten in their last 23 home Premier League games and I will be surprised if Southampton can stop the Red juggernaut. Jurgen Klopp may shuffle his pack against the Saints and I expect to see Naby Keita restored to the starting XI. I feel the Reds midfielder has goals in his locker and may break his Liverpool duck if given the nod.

Michael’s Prediction: Liverpool 4-0 Southampton

Burnley vs Bournemouth

Burnley have never lost five games in a row in the Premier League and will be desperate to arrest their current run of poor results. Better teams than the Clarets will lose at Molineux this season, but it was the manner of their defeat which was so alarming last weekend. The Cherries have, however, only kept one clean sheet in their last 14 Premier League games on the road and I think Sean Dyche’s side will get a positive result – although they may have to settle for a point.

Michael’s Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Bournemouth

Brighton vs Tottenham

Tottenham have lost three in a row for the first time ever under Mauricio Pochettino (Picture: Getty)You have to go back to April 1983 for the last time Brighton beat Spurs and I expect a much-improved performance from Spurs than the one who played so poorly at Wembley last weekend. Mauricio Pochettino’s side conceded two late goals in the San Siro in the Champions League midweek. They must roll their sleeves up and show their mettle and quality at the Amex, but it won’t be easy against a side who have come from two goals down to take a point in their last two games.

West Ham vs Chelsea

Eden Hazard is in the form of his life at the moment (Picture: Reuters)I watched West Ham’s win at Goodison at the weekend and thought it was an excellent result for the Hammers although it is fair to say that on the day Everton were there for the taking. West Ham have lost more Premier League London derbies than any other club and I feel Maurizio Sarri will become just the third Premier League manager to win his first six games in the competition after Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola. That said I expect the hosts to give them a real game in what should be a cracking derby.

Michael’s Predication: West Ham 1-3 Chelsea

Arsenal vs Everton

Arsenal have recovered from their poor start to win four in a row (Picture: Getty)This is a fixture that invariably produces goals and Everton’s two away games so far this season have finished 2-2. I think Blues boss Marco Silva would take a point now although the Gunners have not drawn any of their last 21 Premier League games (W11 L10). This current Arsenal side, as good as they are on the eye, will always give you a chance and I expect Everton to find the back of the net at the Emirates, but Bruce Rioch was in charge of the Gunners (January 1996) the last time they lost at home to Everton. Unai Emery will need time to mould an Arsenal side that could challenge for the title, but I do expect the Gunners to win another game that promises plenty of opportunities and goals.

Michael’s recommendation: Arsenal 3-1 Everton

Michael’s weekend wager: Leicester, Chelsea and Arsenal at 3/1Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more of Michael’s tips read his column here.

FIFA 19: The best cheap starter team on Ultimate Team

The Premier League provides the best cheap options for making a starter team (Picture: EA/FIFA 19)With the release of FIFA 19 fast approaching – and the Ultimate Team Web App already live – it’s time to start thinking about building a reasonably affordable team that can start racking up wins, and coins, as soon as possible.

We’re not looking for any superstars or world-beaters, just a simple XI to kick things off. Our needs are pretty simple: sweatiness, pace, a double-helping of beast mode and maybe some skill moves thrown in. We’ve scoured the FIFA 19 ratings, and their likely prices, and think this starter team has everything for around 15k-20k…

GK/DEFENCE

You can build a dominant defence relatively cheaply this year (Pictures: FIFA 19/FUTHEAD)Between the sticks, Nick Pope (80) looks like he could be the new overpowered goalkeeper everyone will hate playing against, especially now compatriot Jack Butland has been relegated. Pope has apparently grown three inches since the last game, now a ginormous 6ft7, but still has quick reflexes and great positioning. Mathew Ryan (78) and Vicente Guaita (81) are also options.

The full-back positions are stocked with talent in the Premier League this season and Joe Bryan (75), who has been upgraded from silver, looks like an excellent, all-round pick at left-back. Arthur Masuaka (75) has a bit more pace, but that will probably cost a little bit more too. At right-back, Danilo (79) doesn’t have a stat under 70 and could go under the radar, while DeAndre Yedlin (76) is very tempting given his explosive pace.

Nathan Ake (79) has everything you want from a centre-back and pace in abundance, while the fact he is a non-rare should lower his price tag. West Ham summer signing Fabian Balbuena (80) has some serious beast potential, and his jumping and heading stats look particularly good. The likes of Mason Holgate, Christian Kabasele and Caglar Soyuncu could be options if you’re really strapped for cash.

MIDFIELD

There are some excellent, rounded, skillful midfielders to pick up on the cheap (FIFA 19/FUTHEAD)If you want a powerful, physical midfielder on a budget, Mohamed Diame (75) ticks all the boxes and should have a cut-price BIN right from the off – though look to upgrade him for the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek (77) or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (80) pretty early on. Arsenal new boy Lucas Torreira (78) is another great option: good pace, good passing, excellent dribbling and four star skills.

On the left wing, there are a host of options to choose from. Southampton’s Mohamed Elyounoussi (79) is a good entry-level pick and has both four star skills and four star weak foot. Once you earn a few more coins, Brazilian duo Felipe Anderson (82) and Bernard (80) have 90+ pace and bucket loads of dribbling ability.

On the opposite flank, there are once again a number of excellent options to choose from. Theo Walcott (79) should be relatively affordable for anyone in need of pace and good finishing, but keep your eye on Adama Traore (75). In all likelihood his price will be explode on release, largely because he is the second fastest player in FIFA 19 with 96 pace, behind only icon Ronaldo.

FORWARDS

Pace is essential up front and there are some exciting options (Pictures: FIFA 19/FUTHEAD)Every iteration of FUT seems to throw up a few OP strikers that can wreak havoc against even the most expensively assembled squads, and Bournemouth could provide two such players this year.

Josh King (78) has lost a bit of pace since FIFA 18, and will likely need to be converted from CF, but remains an excellent budget striker – and he should be slightly cheaper this year due to those aforementioned changes. Teammate Callum Wilson (78) is likely to be slightly less expensive, but has better physical stats. Andre Gray (75) was an excellent option last year and still has blistering speed, while Michail Antonio (78) has strength, speed and serious ability in the air. Any two of those should form a ferocious strike partnership to get your new FUT campaign up and running.

AND HERE’S HOW THEY’D LINE UP…

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Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Tottenham v Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal

Michael Owen has made his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League action (Picture: Metro.co.uk)As the first international break of the 2018-19 season comes to an end, Michael Owen has delivered his Premier League predictions for the weekend.

Joint-leaders Liverpool travel to Tottenham in Saturday’s early kick-off, while reigning champions Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are all in action from 3pm.

Manchester United face Watford in the late game on Saturday evening, while struggling Burnley and West Ham are among the teams in action on Sunday.

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Tottenham v Liverpool

This is a real test of Liverpool’s title credentials and a win at Wembley will go a long way to proving their doubters wrong.

With a star-studded side full of attacking options the Reds are almost always guaranteed to score and will look to heap more misery on the hosts who were beaten at Watford last time out.

Liverpool have made an excellent start to the new season (Picture: Getty)Dele Alli hopes to be fit for the Londoners after missing England’s game with Switzerland and although Harry Kane was quiet against Spain he is still the go to man for his club.

Whether Spurs can stop a rampaging Liverpool forward line looks unlikely, however, and five wins on the bounce for Jurgen Klopp’s side beckons.

Michael’s Prediction: Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool

Bournemouth v Leicester

Bournemouth were well beaten at Chelsea before the International break but are a much tougher opponent on home soil.

There is usually a partisan atmosphere and the tight little Vitality Stadium generates a terrific atmosphere.

Leicester should welcome back star striker Jamie Vardy from suspension and after tough games with Manchester United and Liverpool the Foxes will fancy themselves on the South Coast.

Leicester have won two and lost two so far this term (Picture: Getty)They should be looking for maximum points if they wish to challenge for a top six berth but just look a little short of squad depth to perhaps make that leap at present.

Sitting on the fence I envisage a share of the spoils.

Michael’s Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester

Chelsea v Cardiff

Maurizio Sarri is certainly changing the way Chelsea approach their football and his refreshing attacking attitude is already making him a fans favourite at the Bridge.

Indeed, Chelsea have attempted and completed more passes than any other side in the Premier League so far this season.

Maurizio Sarri has already made a significant impact at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)Their perfect start to the season is likely to be maintained on Saturday against a Cardiff side without a win in six in all competitions.

The Bluebirds did well to reach the top-flight, but the truth is they look set for a quick return and it is likely to be a long afternoon for Neil Warnock’s side at the Bridge.

Michael’s Prediction: Chelsea 4-0 Cardiff

Huddersfield v Crystal Palace

Without the injured Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace suffered a surprise home reverse against Southampton in their last game and have failed to build on an opening day win over Fulham.

The Eagles are likely to have the Ivorian international available for their trip to Huddersfield, however, and it should be noted that they have won all three top-flight away games between the sides without conceding a goal.

Crystal Palace have been reliant on Wilfried Zaha (Picture: Getty)Huddersfield are yet to taste victory so far this term but picked up a useful point at Goodison before the International break although scoring goals is likely to be a problem for the Terriers this term.  I feel Palace will secure a narrow success.

Michael’s Prediction: Huddersfield 0-1 Crystal Palace

Manchester City v Fulham

The Citizens will be looking for goals when they host new boys Fulham and there have been 16 goals scored in the Cottagers’ four Premier League games to date.

Fulham have already shipped nine times in those four games although in Alexsandar Mitrovic – who scored twice, one a cracker for Serbia midweek – they have a striker at the top of his game.

Manchester City have been backed to thrash Fulham (Picture: Getty)Indeed, the Serb has scored 16 league goals since his Fulham debut in February – more than any other in the top two divisions of English football.

That said I expect City to put behind a couple of indifferent performances against Wolves and Newcastle and gain an emphatic success.

Michael’s Prediction: Manchester City 5-1 Fulham

Newcastle v Arsenal

Newcastle start the weekend in the bottom three and are yet to win, but the fixture list has not been kind to United and they look to have some easier looking fixtures after the visit of Arsenal.

Indeed, I still believe The Toon will move clear of the drop zone and it would be no surprise to me if they again finished the season in the top half.

Arsenal have yet to convince and often looked shaky at Cardiff despite running out 3-2 winners.

Mesut Ozil looks set to make his first appearance at St James’ Park (Picture: Getty)Two defeats from four outings is hardly top 4 form, however and the Gunners are already looking more like a top six outfit than one who will challenge for a Champions League spot – at least this season.

Newcastle won the corresponding fixture 2-1 last season and the Gunners have not won back-to-back away Premier League games since May 2017. I do not expect the Magpies to lose.

Michael’s Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal

Watford v Manchester United

Watford couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season and manager Javi Gracia, who had been favourite to be the first Premier League manager to lose/leave his post, was a worthy winner of the Manager of the Month for August.

Watford fans will be hoping that is not the kiss of death, but there looks no reason to desert the Hornets just yet.

United got a valuable win at Turf Moor last time but they won’t relish a trip to Vicarage Road and I expect the resurgent hosts to get at least a point from the game.

Michael’s Prediction: Watford 1-0 Manchester United

There has been speculation over Jose Mourinho’s future at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Wolves v Burnley

Wolves have made a good start to life back in the top flight and a late winner at West Ham has given them a platform to consolidate.

They took a useful point at home to the Champions in their previous game at Molineux and they will be relishing the visit of Burnley at the weekend.

Owen expects Burnley’s struggles to continue (Picture: Getty)Wolves are without a win in their last 14 Premier League games at Molineux but have only lost two of 28 home league games under Nuno Espirito Santo and the Clarets have lost five of their last six away Premier League games.

Things are likely to get worse before they get better for Sean Dyche’s side.

Michael’s Prediction: Wolves 1-0 Burnley

Everton v West Ham

Everton were disappointing against Huddersfield last time when they missed the skills of the suspended Richarlison who scored twice on his Brazil debut against El Salvador midweek.

The Blues must again do without the exciting Brazilian against West Ham this weekend, but I feel Marco Silva’s side can keep the points.

Manuel Pellegrini is already under pressure at the London Stadium (Picture: Getty)Everton have won more Premier League games against the Hammers (24) than any other club and Manuel Pellegrini will become the first West Ham manager to lose their first five league games of the season in their history if they lose at Goodison.

With Chelsea to come next weekend this is a massive game for the Irons, but I feel the points will stay on Merseyside.

Michael’s Prediction: Everton 2-0 West Ham

Southampton v Brighton 

These South Coast rivals look well matched and should provide an intriguing contest for Monday Night viewers to enjoy.

The Saints took the bragging rights with a narrow 1-0 success away in the League Cup recently but will need to improve their home form to make an impact this campaign.

Southampton host Brighton on Monday night (Picture: Getty)Brighton will be delighted with four points from a tough opening set of fixtures and after a tremendous comeback from 2-0 down at home to Fulham to rescue a point, look full of fight this time around.

Glenn Murray bagged a brace in that stirring fightback and looks key to Albion’s hopes.  I think they will do enough to add another point to their tally at St Mary’s.

Michael’s Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Brighton 

Michael’s weekend treble: Chelsea, Wolves and Everton at 10/3

Michael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions including Arsenal vs West Ham & Man Utd vs Spurs

It’s a packed weekend of action in the Premier League (Picture: Metro)The visit of Spurs to Old Trafford on Monday evening is the highlight of Gameweek 3 in the Premier League. I managed to predict two correct scores and seven correct results last weekend – let’s see how the predictions do this time!

Wolves v Manchester City

Pep Guardiola believes Sergio Aguero is in the form of his life (Picture: Getty)Wolves hit the woodwork three times at Leicester on Saturday and they were made to pay for their missed opportunities. Things are unlikely to get much easier for the newly promoted side when champions Manchester City visit Molineux in Saturday’s early kick-off.

City are the first reigning champions to win their first couple of PL games since they did themselves back in 2014 and I would be surprised if they did not take the points in what promises to be an open and entertaining game.

Eyebrows were raised when City only added Riyad Mahrez to their first-team squad in the summer, but Benjamin Mendy ruptured an ACL after just six games last season. His return is almost a second major signing for Pep Guardiola and the French full back was quite magnificent and gave them yet another potent attacking option against Huddersfield on Sunday.

Score prediction: 1-3

Arsenal v West Ham

It has been a baptism of fire for Unai Emery at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Some of Arsenal’s attacking play was wonderful to watch against Chelsea and their two well-crafted goals were as many as they have scored in their last six PL visits to Stamford Bridge.

Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a gilt-edged opportunity on Saturday, but I feel he will be back among the goals for the Gunners sooner rather than later. It would not surprise me if the visit of West Ham on Saturday was an opportunity for Unai Emery to start both Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

The Gunners defending still leaves something to be desired, however, although I do feel they will gain their first win of the season against the Hammers who conceded the lead and all three points to Bournemouth at the weekend.

Score prediction: 2-1

Bournemouth v Everton

Richarlison has scored three times in his first two Everton appearances (Picture: Getty)Bournemouth’s 2-1 win at West Ham was their fourth successive top-flight victory – the first time they have achieved this feat in their history. The fact that they have won 19 points from losing positions already in 2018 shows there is nothing wrong with their commitment and team spirit, but they may have to settle for a point when Everton come to town at the weekend.

The Blues played very well in patches against Southampton at Goodison and they appear to be playing with more energy and pace under Marco Silva. I expect to see another open, entertaining game ending with a point apiece.

Score prediction: 1-1

Huddersfield v Cardiff

Wigan (10) back in 2010 are the only side in the history of the PL to have conceded more goals in their opening two games than Huddersfield (9) but I feel the Terriers can bounce back against Cardiff in a vital game for both clubs.

The losers at the John Smith’s Stadium are likely to endure a long, difficult winter although I appreciate it is only two weeks into the season. Town often got something out of games they badly needed to get a result from last season and that ability might be the key in a low-scoring game.

Score prediction: 1-0

Southampton v Leicester City

Jamie Vardy is banned for three games following his red card last weekend (Picture: Getty)Leicester must do without Jamie Vardy, following his red card against Wolves, at St Mary’s but I still feel they will take all three points on the south coast.

It was good to see Danny Ings back among the goals at Goodison on Saturday and, if the striker can be kept off the treatment table, he will be a big asset to Southampton.

The Foxes played well at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season, however, and I feel they will take all three points against the Saints.

Score prediction: 0-2

Liverpool v Brighton

Liverpool have made a flawless start to the new season (Picture: Getty)A fantastic win for Brighton against a largely out-of-sorts Manchester United at the Amex on Sunday, but they will find the pace, energy and quality of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds a different proposition at Anfield.

These are very early days, but the clean sheet for Liverpool at Selhurst Park on Monday was significant for me. In previous campaigns the Reds may have wilted and conceded against the Eagles, but Virgil van Dijk and Alisson have added composure and quality to Jurgen Klopp’s defence.

Whoever finishes above Liverpool in the PL this term will win the title.

Score prediction: 3-0

Watford v Crystal Palace

Palace will have to do without the impressive Aaron Wan-Bissaka following his red-card against Liverpool on Monday, but the Eagles have made a good start to the season and played their part in an informative game against the Reds at Selhurst Park.

Watford have won their first couple of games in top-flight football for just the second time in their history. They finished second behind Liverpool on the only previous occasion (1983-83) and, whilst that will be beyond them this term, they can maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign back at Vicarage Road.

Score prediction: 1-1

Fulham v BurnleyBurnley are without a win in their last seven PL games after their 3-1 home defeat to Watford on Sunday and an aggregate score of 4-13 in that period will be a concern for all Clarets fans.

Fulham had their chances and played their part in a good London derby at Wembley on Saturday, but they will be desperate to get their first win of the season.

Sean Dyche’s side picked up more points on the road than at Turf Moor, however, last season and were unlucky not to win at St Mary’s on the opening day of the season.

I expect to see goals at Craven Cottage for both sides on Sunday.

Score prediction: 1-1

Newcastle United v Chelsea

Kenedy’s penalty miss cost Newcastle a win over Cardiff last weekend (Picture: Getty)United were left rueing Kenedy’s late penalty miss at Cardiff on Saturday, although a point gained with ten men following a goalless draw in south Wales was a decent enough return.

Chelsea have picked up six goals and six points from their two games to date and I just feel the west London outfit’s superior class will prevail, although Spurs had luck on their side when they picked up maximum points at St James’s Park on the opening weekend of the campaign.

Score prediction: 0-2

Manchester United v Tottenham

The problems are piling up for Jose Mourinho (Picture: Getty)I expect to see a much-improved United performance back at Old Trafford to the one which saw them lose so tamely at Brighton, but is this current United side good enough to get a result against this talented Spurs side?

United got off to a flying start with an third minute penalty against Leicester on the opening day of the season and you wonder if the Old Trafford faithful will get restless if they don’t see another early goal against Spurs.

Spurs have not been at their very best in picking up maximum points so far this term, but this will be a serious test of their title credentials. If there is to be a winner on Monday I feel it will be Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Score prediction: 1-2

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here

More: Manchester United FC

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Manchester United, Chelsea & Arsenal

It’s a huge weekend of Premier League aaction (Picture: Metro)Few surprises in the opening weekend of the Premier League season with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool impressing and Manchester United and Spurs more workmanlike.

Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the weekend action

Cardiff City v Newcastle

Dele Alli condemned Newcastle to defeat on the opening weekend (Picture: Getty)Newcastle lost their opening day fixture for the fifth time in the last six years against Spurs last weekend but, on another day, United would have picked up at least a point having hit the woodwork twice in the second half.

The City Of Cardiff Stadium will be rocking for their first home Premier League game since 2014 and, if they are to survive in the division, their home form will be pivotal.

Newcastle have beaten Cardiff in each of their last ten Premier League meetings – their longest winning run against an opponent in league history – but I think the Bluebirds will pick up a hard-earned point.

Michael’s Prediction: Cardiff City 1-1 Newcastle

Everton v Southampton

Richarlison got off to a flier last weekend (Picture: Getty)Everton did well to get a point at Wolves on Saturday having played over 50 minutes with 10-men following Phil Jagielka’s red card at Molineux. Marco Silva’s side are likely to field at least a couple of their Deadline Day signings at Goodison and Blues’ fans will be looking forward to the home debut of Richarlison.

The young Brazilian scored with both shots on goal at Molineux, having failed to score with his last 53 attempts for Watford last season. He is an exciting recruit, but his challenge will be to sustain his opening day form over the course of a full season.

Danny Ings was a second-half substitute for the Saints in their 0-0 draw with Burnley on Sunday and it is likely that the former Liverpool striker will get a start back on Merseyside, given the striker looked sharp in his St Mary’s cameo against the Clarets.

I think Everton will edge what promises to be an entertaining game with opportunities at both ends.

Michael’s Prediction: Everton 2-1 Southampton

Leicester City v Wolves

Leicester have now conceded the opening goal in the last three Premier League seasons although I thought they played well in parts at Old Trafford last Friday. That said they have now won just four points from their last 24 available in the Premier League and they badly need a win to calm the nerves around the King Power.

Wolves showed their quality with two excellent goals against 10-man Everton at Molineux, but I thought they looked vulnerable defensively and I think the Foxes will keep the points with Jamie Vardy likely to be back in the starting XI after his goal from the bench against United last weekend.

Michael’s Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Wolves

Tottenham v Fulham

Harry Kane will be looking to end his August hoodoo (Picture: Getty)Fulham’s 2-0 home defeat against Crystal Palace on Saturday means the Cottagers have won just 25 of their 119 Premier League London derbies and I think things are going to get worse before they get better at Wembley on Saturday.

The news this week is that Spurs will not move into their new 62,000-seater stadium until the end of October, but I feel they will have too much going forward for their newly-promoted opponents. After drawing a blank at St James’s Park Harry Kane has now gone 14 games without a Premier League goal in the month of August, but he is likely to have the opportunities to right that wrong at the weekend.

Fulham will surely need more time to gel with coach Slavisa Jokanovic giving debuts to no less than eight players against the Eagles on Saturday.

Michael’s Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Fulham

West Ham v Bournemouth

West Ham will be sick of the sight of Liverpool having conceded four at Anfield on Sunday – the fourth time on the run they have shipped four goals against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in the Premier League!

Manuel Pellegrini will have another week to work with his new signings and I feel we will see a different Hammers’ side against the Cherries who got off to a winning start against Cardiff on Saturday.

Expectation has been high for Pellegrini’s Irons’ and I think it would be folly to write them off after just one – albeit mediocre – performance.

Michael’s Prediction: West Ham 2-0 Bournemouth

Chelsea v Arsenal

Eden Hazard is likely to return to Chelsea’s starting line-up against Arsenal (Picture: Getty)A good professional performance from Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea at Huddersfield on the opening day although it was difficult to get too excited about Arsenal who were easily brushed aside – as Chelsea were in the Community Shield a week earlier – by champions Manchester City at the Emirates.

Unai Emery would have hoped for an easier introduction to life in the Premier League than City at home and Chelsea away, and they will take heart from the fact that Chelsea failed to beat Arsenal in five games (Community Shield, Premier League x 2 & League Cup x 2) last season.

That said I expect Chelsea to build on their convincing win in Yorkshire and keep the points in Sarri’s first home game in charge of the Blues.

Michael’s Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Burnley v Watford

I would be surprised if we saw many goals at Turf Moor with both sides keeping a clean sheet on the opening weekend. As good as Watford’s 2-0 win against Brighton was, I feel it was trumped by Burnley’s excellent point at St Mary’s following a difficult game in Istanbul on the previous Thursday evening.

Joe Hart will have been delighted to keep a clean sheet against Southampton on Sunday and I feel one goal might be enough against the Hornets.

Michael’s Prediction: Burnley 1-0 Watford

Manchester City v Huddersfield

It was business as usual for the champions last weekend at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)If the opening fixtures have been difficult for Arsenal the same can certainly be said of Huddersfield Town, who travel to champions Manchester City on Sunday after their opening weekend home loss to Chelsea.

I expect City to win comfortably even though the Terriers got a valuable point in their battle against relegation in the corresponding fixture at the end of last season. That goalless draw was the only time Pep Guardiola’s side failed to score at the Etihad in the league last term, but I expect them to run out convincing winners on Sunday.

Sergio Aguero has looked sharp so far this term and City’s all-time record goalscorer has scored 11 times in his last seven Premier League games at the Etihad – I feel he might be back amongst the goals at the weekend.

Michael’s Prediction: Manchester City 5-0 Huddersfield

Brighton v Manchester United

All eyes will be on Paul Pogba at the Amex (Picture: Getty)Brighton have invested heavily in the summer, but they failed to have a single shot on target at Vicarage Road in their 2-0 defeat to Watford on Saturday. Chris Hughton will be looking for a positive reaction from his side when United visit the Amex at the weekend.

A Paul Pogba-inspired United got the start they needed against Leicester last Friday and I feel they will again get a result on the south coast, although I don’t expect to see many goals.Brighton 0-1 Manchester United

Crystal Palace v Liverpool

Naby Keita starred in Liverpool’s crushing in over West Ham (Picture: Getty)Liverpool looked full of goals against a slightly disappointing West Ham at Anfield on Sunday, but one could argue that the most impressive result on the opening weekend was Palace’s 2-0 win at Fulham.

The Eagles were excellent on the break at Craven Cottage, but they will need to watch Liverpool on the counter attack at Selhurst Park such is the pace and quality in Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

It is hard to see anything other than a hugely entertaining Monday night clash with Liverpool to take the points.

Michael’s Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool

Michael’s weekend wager: West Ham, Everton and Chelsea at 8/1

Michael Owen is a BetVictor Brand Ambassador. For more odds and tips, read Michael’s column here.

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Liverpool new boy Fabinho speaks out after being benched by Jurgen Klopp for West Ham clash

Fabinho did not feature in Liverpool’s routine victory over West Ham (Picture: Getty)Fabinho says he was fully aware of the battle he faced to cement a place in Liverpool’s team after being benched for the Premier League opener.

Brazilian midfielder Fabinho was one of Liverpool’s marquee summer signings but he was left on the bench for the home match against West Ham on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp admitted Fabinho had endured a difficult pre-season and opted to start Naby Keita, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum in his midfield.

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‘When I came to Liverpool I knew this competition would exist in midfield and I think it’s really good for the team,’ Fabinho told Premier League Productions.

‘If anything happens to a player, there’s adequate cover. During pre-season I played alongside a variety of different players and we blended really well.

‘So, overall, I think it’s a good thing for the team.’

Before the West Ham fixture, Fabinho has featured in all nine of Liverpool’s summer friendlies and says he is adapting well to the nuances of playing under Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp opted to bench the Brazilian midfielder (Picture: Getty)‘I think my performances have been good,’ he added.

‘It’s a different playing style than at Monaco; there were two of us in midfield there and here at Liverpool there’s three.

‘My midfield partners have given me guidance and assistance, as have the defence. I knew [my role] would change and I feel I’ve adapted well.

‘You seek guidance and help from the players around you and that has worked really well up until now.’

Liverpool confirmed they had signed Fabinho, a former French title winner, just two days after the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

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And the 24-year-old insists he has settled into life at Anfield well, despite still awaiting his first competitive match for his new club.

‘It has been really good since I arrived here,’ Fabinho said.

‘The players and the coaching staff have been brilliant. I have been able to fit in really well with the club, the training and games we’ve played have been good.’

MORE: Luka Modric’s agent fuels Inter Milan transfer speculation

Ian Wright hails Liverpool summer signing Naby Keita and Arsenal new-boy Matteo Guendouzi after Premier League debuts

Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright (Picture: Getty)Ian Wright has identified Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita and Arsenal new-boy Matteo Guendouzi as the two summer signings who stood out on the opening weekend of the Premier League.

Liverpool agreed a deal to sign Keita last summer but he spent the 2017-18 campaign at RB Leipzig before arriving at Anfield in July.

The Guinea international became the first player to wear the No.8 shirt since Steven Gerrard and impressed on debut, helping Liverpool beat West Ham 4-0.

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Former Arsenal and England striker Wright says Keita was ‘absolute dynamite’ and believes he will contend for the Player of the Year award this season.

‘Jurgen Klopp was so desperate to sign Naby Keita for Liverpool that he slapped down the deposit 12 months ago and was prepared to wait a year before he had him in a red shirt,’ he told The Sun.

‘On Sunday you could see exactly why, because this guy was absolute dynamite. The positions he took up, his distribution, tackling and strength, everything was top drawer.

Naby Keita helped Liverpool smash West Ham 4-0 on his league debut (Picture: Getty)‘You won’t win Player of the Year on one performance, but as markers go it could hardly have been more impressive.’

Former Premier League winner Wright also heaped praise on Arsenal’s 19-year-old summer signing Guendouzi, who Unai Emery bought from Ligue 1 outfit Lorient.

Guendouzi started Arsenal’s opener against Manchester City in defensive midfield and Wright was impressed by his ‘attitude and effervescence’.

‘Later on Sunday afternoon another less obvious new boy impressed me in Arsenal’s young midfielder Guendouzi,’ Wright added.

Matteo Guendouzi showed promise against champions City (Picture: Getty)More: Football

‘Yes, he found it tough going at times against City but what impressed me was his attitude and effervescence.

‘It would have been easy to hide – let’s face it, others in the Arsenal side did – but he was still demanding the ball, still showing and still battling to the end.

‘Gunners fans left the Emirates desperately looking for positives after an opening loss and Guendouzi was the biggest one of all.’

MORE: Chelsea to continue paying part of Tiemoue Bakayoko salary in AC Milan loan move

Naby Keita’s flawless debut & silky Salah: Liverpool lay down early marker against West Ham

The Reds put on a scintillating performance at Anfield on Sunday (Picture: PA)Liverpool kicked off the new Premier League season with a comprehensive 4-0 win over West Ham to lay down their early season title credentials. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for the hosts and Sadio Mane put the game beyond doubt with strikes either side of half-time, before Daniel Sturridge netted with his first touch off the bench late on.

Jurgen Klopp remarked before the match that Liverpool were more Rocky Balboa than Ivan Drago, and West Ham might have wished they could have thrown in the towel at Anfield. They were second best from the very first minute and but for some occasionally profligate finishing from the hosts – and assured goalkeeper from Lukasz Fabianski – it could have been much, much worse.

Here’s the main talking points…

Keita shines on debut

Keita slotted into midfield perfectly, even showing his flexibility on the wing (Picture: EPA)It is easy to see why Liverpool were so desperate to sign Naby Keita, securing a deal a year in advance of his arrival. Few positions in football are as demanding as being a central midfielder under Jurgen Klopp, asked to press and chase relentlessly, and finding a player with the engine to do that, as well as being technical and fast-thinking, is nearly impossible.

But in Keita they have found exactly that. His work rate and mobility are a natural fit (only James Milner ran further in the first half) while he looked so composed and confident on the ball. His ability to drive forward – ripping holes in the opposition’s midfield – is going to bring a new edge to Liverpool’s already intoxicating attack play. His role in the side’s opener, finding space, darting forward and feeding Andy Robertson, encapsulated that dynamic perfectly. What a singing.

Salah is no one-season wonder

Last season’s top scorer looked as threatening as ever against West Ham (Picture: EPA)A lot of rival fans thought – or, rather, hoped – that Salah would suffer from the fabled difficult second season syndrome. Surely defenders would work him out or double up? Perhaps the shoulder injury picked up in the Champions League final would hamper him? Keep dreaming. The Egyptian picked up precisely where he left off last season and looks eager to keep hold of his Golden Boot.

Salah’s shift from pacey wide-man to clinical forward under Klopp has been truly remarkable, and he continued to pick up the same positions from which he was so ruthless last season as well as showing some lovely moments of interplay. Special mentions should go to Roberto Firmino, who constantly dropped deep to link play and create space for Salah, as well as partner in crime Mane who was devastating up front too.

Alisson the sweeper-keeper

The Brazilian looked cool and composed whenever the ball was at his feet (Picture: Reuters)New goalkeeper Alisson – who held the title of world’s most expensive shot-stopper for barely two weeks – had a quiet afternoon as the Reds dominated possession, territory and chances. However, Liverpool keepers of old have had an outstanding ability to turn routine performances into nervy ones. But the £67m Brazilian exuded calmness behind an untroubled defence and found a teammate with all but one of his passes, helping the side play out from the back. Very promising.

Pellegrini’s West Ham a work in progress

After a summer of optimism, West Ham were run ragged by Liverpool (Picture: Reuters)West Ham were extremely unfortunate to begin the Manuel Pellegrini era against a team as brilliant and devastating as Liverpool. Few teams in world football can stop the Reds at their scintillating best, and the Chilean will have learnt little from this dismantling at Anfield.

Nevertheless, to spend in excess of £100milion over the summer and still have Mark Noble in central midfield feels like a massive oversight. The Hammers were out-worked and overpowered by Keita, Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield, who were stronger, faster and sharper, while a relatively new-look backline was chaotic and disorganised when Liverpool applied pressure. Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson did at least look lively.

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Liverpool vs West Ham TV channel, kick-off time, date and odds

Mohamed Salah wll be hoping to be among the goals against West Ham (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)Liverpool host West Ham today as both teams kick off their Premier League season.

Pep Guardiola picks two World Cup stars in Manchester City squad for Arsenal clashJurgen Klopp has been busy during the summer transfer window with new players joining the side including Alisso and Xherdan Shaqiri.

West Ham have also made a number of signings with Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshire entering the squad along with new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Both sides will want to get off to a good start but West Ham could struggle as Liverpool have scored four goals against them in each of their last three matches.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)When is Liverpool vs West Ham?

The match is on Sunday 12th August with kick-off at 13:30.

What TV channel is Liverpool vs West Ham on?

You can watch all of the action live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League with coverage starting at 12.30.

What are the odds? (Courtesy of William Hill)

Liverpool – 2/9

Draw – 5/1

West Ham – 12/1

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp (Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Head-to-head in last five meetings

24 Feb 2018 – Premier League

Liverpool 4-1 West Ham

04 Nov 2017 – Premier League

West Ham 1-4 Liverpool

14 May 2017 – Premier League

West Ham 0-4 Liverpool

11 Dec 2016 – Premier League

Liverpool 2-2 West Ham

09 Feb 2016 – FA Cup

West Ham 2-1 Liverpool

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What are the Premier League fixtures today and how to watch them?

Pep Guardiola is hoping for another good season at Manchester City (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)After an exciting start to the Premier League season there is more action today with three more games to be played.

There are some big matches today, most notably when current champions Manchester City travel to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.

Here is everything you need to know about today’s Premier League fixtures.

Burnley’s Jack Cork (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)Southampton vs Burnley

Burnley will be hoping to to try and replicate last season’s sevent hplace finish by opening with a win against The Saints today.

They’re close to securing a place in the Europa League this season if they can get past Istanbul Basaksehir on Thursday.

Southampton just avoided relegation at the end of last season and finished in seventeenth, just three points above the drop zone.

When the two teams met last season Burnley won the first encounter while their second match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Kick off

The game will start at 13.30 today.

TV Channel

This game won’t be available to watch on live TV.

Odds (odds courtesy of William Hill)

Southampton – 5/6

Draw – 9/4

Burnley – 19/5

Mohamed Salah will be looking to have another great season for Liverpool. (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)Liverpool vs West Ham

Liverpool are one of the favourites to win the Premier League this season after making some good signings in the summer transfer window.

They ended last season in fourth place but made it all the way to the final of the Champions League, losing out to Real Madrid.

West Ham have made some signings of their own and will be hoping to build on their 13th place finish from last season.

Manuel Pellegrini will be managing his first competitive game for the club and fans will be hoping that his experience can make the difference.

Kick off

This match will start at 13.30 today.

TV Channel

You can watch all of the action live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League with coverage starting at 12.30.

Odds (odds courtesy of William Hill)

Liverpool – 2/9

Draw – 5/1

West Ham – 12/1

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be playing his first full season at the club. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)Arsenal vs Manchester City

Arsenal have a tough start to their campaign when they host Man City this afternoon.

They finished last season in sixth place, seven points behind their nearest rival Chelsea, but with Unai Emery as they’re new manager they’ll be hoping for a change in fortune.

Manchester City weren’t as dominant in the transfer window this summer, but they did bring in Riyad Mahrez who could prove to be a crucial player this season.

Pep Guardiola’s side won both league matches against Arsenal last season, as well as getting a 3-0 win in the League Cup final.

Kick off

This match will kick-off at 16.00 today.

TV Channel

You can watch live coverage of this match on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League from 15.30.

Odds (odds courtesy of William Hill)

Arsenal – 17/5

Draw – 3/1

Manchester City – 8/11

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